Gov. Hochul made a pointy break along with her incoming lieutenant governor, State Sen. Brian Benjamin, rejecting the “defund the police” motion he has embraced.
“Governor Hochul doesn’t assist defunding the police,” Hazel Crampton-Hays, her press secretary, advised The Submit. “Within the Hochul Administration, public security and justice and accountability in policing will not be mutually unique, and we’re glad to companion with soon-to-be Lieutenant Governor Benjamin on these priorities to maintain our communities secure.”
Benjamin, 44, has represented Harlem within the State Senate since 2017 and has a protracted observe document of aligning himself with the far left — making “defunding the police” a central part of his failed marketing campaign for metropolis comptroller this yr.
“As New York Metropolis Comptroller, Brian will examine 20,000 circumstances of police misconduct to seek out patterns of abuse,” reads a narrator in a marketing campaign advert wherein he additionally promised a full audit of the NYPD price range.
“I assist the motion to defund the police as a result of I imagine that there are elements of the NYPD price range that aren’t important for public security,” Benjamin stated in a January tweet touting his candidacy.
“Our purpose have to be to make use of the powers of the workplace to prioritize extra public security measures, no more legislation enforcement.”
“The Senator agrees with Governor Hochul that public security and accountability in policing will not be mutually unique. He appears to be like ahead to supporting her agenda.” Neil Reilly, a spokesman for Benjamin, advised The Submit.
Earlier than politics Benjamin was a prime govt at Genesis Corporations, a troubled actual property agency. He was born within the neighborhood, the son of Caribbean immigrants, and later obtained levels from Brown and Harvard universities.
Hochul lauded her centrist credentials throughout her first week in workplace and not too long ago described herself as a reasonable “Biden Democrat.” However President Biden has lengthy said his opposition to defunding cops and, together with most different nationwide moderates, has been trying to get the thought useless and buried earlier than the 2022 midterm elections.
Not like previous lieutenant governors, Hochul says Benjamin’s job received’t simply be window dressing. In a ceremony saying his choice, she referred to as Benjamin a “companion” and stated he could be working along with her “aspect by aspect within the trenches.”
“It reveals that Kathy Hochul has simply lurched very far to the left and I count on her to try this with many different insurance policies as she tries to appease the loudest liberal voices within the room,” Andrew Giuliani, a GOP candidate for governor in 2022, advised The Submit.
He additionally laced into Benjamin over the difficulty. “It reveals the man simply doesn’t actually care concerning the information in any respect and the challenges which can be going through New Yorkers,” he stated.